Other Places

I’m considering changing the name of this blog to “Other Places” because that’s where I do my sharing these days. On a scale of 1-10 – v Instagram is 1 (best) and Facebook is 10 (worst). In between is Twitter, Gab and MeWe. Even though I have a long standing account there, Parler gives me a headache. This is something that I wrote on Instagram this week – as you can see, it’s longer than the usual entry over there.


This week marks a 75 pound weight loss for me since July. Weight loss wasn’t my primary objective – I was looking for the cardiac benefit of going vegan but I’ll take it. (Did you know that it’s passé to use the term vegan? Now the thing to say is plant-based. Further, my particular corner of the planet is known as PBWFNF – plant-based whole foods no fat.) Anyway, lots to be happy about now but there’s sadness, too.

I’ve been hanging onto some really good business clothes that I outgrew, waiting for the day that I’d slim down and fit in them again. I know I’m not the only one that does this. I missed the window. I always thought It would be so great if my clothing was loose, or my rings would spin around or if bracelets and watches had to be pushed up on my forearm to keep the faces pointed towards me. But that’s not what happened – it’s annoying and uncomfortable.

I waited too long to try them on and now they look like circus tents hanging on me. And spinning rings and bracelets -which imply that you’re so slim you can’t find items small enough for you – are very annoying. The thing that hurts is how much angst I had separating myself from these things. I guess it’s because they were some of the best quality clothing I ever owned?

In the end, I bagged up 3 kitchen can bags, crammed full of these items, some with the tags still on, that were special to me and took them to a local thrift shop that supports the battered women’s shelter. Forgive me when I tell you that I couldn’t let go of 2 of my best blazers, 3 wrap dresses, or even my 2 fabulous faux fur coats. (I might still need those coats in wintery Florida!)

They told me the shelter women get first crack at incoming clothing and I hope that’s true. It’s a comfort to think that women who are right now without the basic necessities will be wearing that clothing someday, maybe to job interviews or for loan applications.

I don’t know why I am compelled to share this with you. Letting go of these visible symbols of a goal that’s long been surpassed is still bothering me a week later.

Slowly Reclaiming My Schedule

I’ve been so pleased with myself since I’ve retired. Imagine that every day is Saturday and you have no obligations and you only do the things you want to do. Reminder: what I wanted to do was take naps, float around in the pool and possibly set up a raft and take naps in the pool.

Flash forward 3 years or so: I had to get an Alexa to tell me what day garbage is picked up. I joined a local volunteer group that only meets once a month and there’s no social shaming of you don’t feel like showing up and I have successfully avoided being forced onto someone else’s clock for any reason. UNTIL … I had a major heart attack*.

Now it’s all about appointments set by other people’s clocks, eating meals of limited cuisine at regular times and modest pre-approved exercise which is pretty much the life of a federal prisoner. I shouldn’t complain because this is an example of my schedule before:

I had a new dining room area rug delivered in January. I kept it in the original shipping wrappings behind that curtain until September when the stars aligned and resigned helpers moved the table and chairs, rolled the old rug, set up the new and out everything back in its place. That rug was not willing to lie flat after being rolled so long, so I pulled out all the heavy containers from the pantry and set them up along the short edges of the rug.

As I said, this was in September. If I needed something that was formerly in the pantry and now holding down the rug, I picked up just that one thing and left the others behind. Sounds slothful as I type it out but this was my preferred schedule of doing things (when I felt like it). Today I felt like making steel cut oats for breakfast so now the canned spaghetti sauce stands alone. I don’t know why I even bought that, so it might be there a while longer.

BUT! I’m developing a productive schedulable just for me, with a forgiving timeline making it more likely I’ll stick to it. Here it is: When I get out of bed and after morning ablutions, I click onto a YouTube video called “Peaceful Uplifting Music.” Don’t bother searching for it. It’s basically Yanni with an overlaid track of incessant bird sounds Then I set the timer on my phone for 5 minutes, lift up my chin- thus opening my heart – and apply a witchhazel-soaked cotton pad to each eye. It’s not onerous, it doesn’t confuse my old dog and i can get it over with early in the day.

Later on today, I’ll add the 27-minue YouTube video called “Resistance Bands for Seniors and Beginners”. I do not like anything about the using the resistance bands except how it makes me feel when it’s over with. Plus, I might possibly end up with Bell Yin without even trying.

*More on that later. Much more. Much, much more. Not because I feel compelled to bore you with detail but because my heart rules everything in my life now. If you get tired of me talking about my post-heart attack lifestyle, just wait until I start telling you about how I’m a vegan now.